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Headlines and Highlights: Week of May 5th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of May 5th
May 5, 2023
Keenan Flack

King Ken Sends Herald from the Collectible Realm

Credit: Netflix
  • "The King of Collectibles," a Netflix reality show, delves into the world of high-end memorabilia at Goldin, a prominent auction house and marketplace for collectibles, captivating audiences with its storytelling and behind-the-scenes access.
  • Since the show's release, Goldin's social media followings have experienced notable growth: their Twitter account has added 965 new followers (1% growth), while their Instagram account has gained over 15,600 followers (nearly 14% growth).
  • The show's influence on the collectibles market is still uncertain, but major auction events are planned to capitalize on the increased interest, including the sale of Michael Jordan's sneakers from the 1998 "Flu Game," which are expected to set new records with a potential seven-figure sale price.
  • We covered this story in this Wednesday's edition of Alts and Ends. Our weekly newsletter analyzing the biggest happenings in the collectibles space.

Sotheby's Metaverse Announcement 

Photo: Sotheby's
  • Sotheby's recently launched its own curated marketplace for digital works, enabling peer-to-peer transactions on the Ethereum or Polygon blockchain and honoring artist resale royalties through smart contracts. The marketplace is powered by Mojito, a Web3 brand platform for enterprise customers.
  • Sales of art-related NFTs dropped 49% in 2022, from $2.9 billion to $1.5 billion, with art's share of NFT sales falling from 14% to 8%. Despite this decline, Sotheby's remains optimistic about the market for NFT-based art.
  • The Sotheby's marketplace aims to provide storytelling and editorial context often missing from the blockchain-based art ecosystem, helping newcomers find high-quality works more easily. However, the intended decentralization of the art market has been challenged by the need for centralized taste-making provided by traditional art institutions like Sotheby's. SOTHEBY'S
  • We dug into the NFT trend and Sotheby's announcement in this week's Alts and Ends.

'Cheers' bar, 'Tonight Show' set among TV history at auction

Photo by Josh David Jordan
  • James Comisar's extensive collection of TV memorabilia, including the set from "The Tonight Show," the bar from "Cheers," and costumes from various shows, will be sold at Heritage Auctions.
  • The auction features about 1,000 lots, with online bidding starting in May and live bidding taking place from June 2 to 4 in Dallas.
  • The entertainment memorabilia market has grown significantly in recent years, recognizing the rarity and cultural value of items from iconic TV shows. INTELLIGENT COLLECTOR

Lichtenstein based ARTEX Stock Exchange to launch IPO of Fine Art

  • Artex, an online "stock exchange for art," plans to offer its first initial public offering (IPO) on May 30th, focusing on pieces in the €50 million plus range, primarily Impressionist and Modern art.
  • Trading is set to begin by July, with the goal of listing over €1 billion-worth of art; Artex will issue shares worth €100 each, which can be bought, sold, or traded on a secondary market within the exchange.
  • Co-founder Yassir Benjelloun-Touimi envisions Artex as democratizing access to the art market for retail, private banks, and institutional investors, creating a new kind of patron who doesn't need to be wealthy or knowledgeable about art. THE ART NEWSPAPER

Controversial Collectibles: Horten Family Collection

  • The Horten family jewelry collection auction, with estimated sales of over $150 million, has become controversial due to the family's connections to the exploitation of Jewish-owned businesses by Nazi Germany.
  • If the auction reaches its $150 million estimate, it will surpass the 2011 sale of Elizabeth Taylor's private collection as the most expensive single-owner jewelry sale.
  • Christie's has addressed the controversy by adding relevant information to the sale materials and website, and announcing that a significant contribution from the proceeds will go towards organizations advancing Holocaust research and education. ALTAN INSIGHTS

Christie’s to sell multiple First Folio copies in May

Credit: Christie's
  • To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's First Folio, Christie's is hosting the largest exhibition of First Folios ever assembled in the United Kingdom from 2 to 26 May 2023.
  • The First Folio, published in 1623, brought together 36 of Shakespeare's plays, including 18 that might otherwise have been lost, such as Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Julius Caesar.
  • The exhibition includes six copies of the First Folio, with some on public display for the first time, such as the Arundel Castle copy and the Halliwell-Watson First Folio. CHRISTIE'S
  • The last public sale of a copy of the First Folio was sold at Christie’s in 2020 for $9.97mm.

Is This the Answer? A Look at "The Crossover" Jersey and the Allen Iverson Market

Photo: Hunt
  • Allen Iverson's iconic "The Crossover" jersey is estimated to sell for $25,000 - $50,000, which seems undervalued considering its significance in NBA history and Iverson's impact on the league.
  • Iverson's memorabilia market is lagging compared to his contemporaries like Kobe Bryant, even though he was an 11-time All-Star, a league MVP, and a major cultural icon in the NBA.
  • The upcoming auction for "The Crossover" jersey has the potential to change market perception, demonstrating the lasting connection Iverson forged with fans during his career. ALTAN INSIGHTS

Mint Condition: Card Collecting Management Apps

Credit: Ludex
  • Last week, Ludex, a collection management and pricing tool for sports cards, raised $8 million in new funding. Our friends at Sports Collector Daily wrote a great piece on how best to go about scaling one of these companies.
  • They expect that, to attract users, these companies will partner with dealers, consigners, and breakers to ensure a healthy, active marketplace. Additionally, they may target niche markets (e.g., vintage items, non-card categories, or non-major sports) to initially gain a foothold and then expand into broader segments.
  • Successful collection management companies will need superior technology, strong hobby community connections, and effective execution of partnerships and niche market targeting; there is potential for multiple winners in this large and growing market. SPORTS COLLECTORS DAILY

Amazon launching their own NFT marketplace

  • Amazon is getting into the NFT game with "Amazon Digital Marketplace '' launching on May 15th, which will allow users to buy, sell, and trade non-fungible token (NFT) products, initially only in the United States.
  • The platform aims to make NFTs more accessible by allowing users to pay with fiat currency and leveraging Amazon's delivery business to receive physical NFTs and merchandise at their homes.
  • Amazon aims to broaden the NFT market by targeting a wider audience and simplifying transactions, Sotheby's focus is on curating high-quality digital art and providing a more exclusive experience for collectors. BLOCKZEIT

Music financing startup Duetti raises $32 million to buy old songs

  • Duetti, a music financing startup, raised $32 million to expand its team and support its public launch, aiming to help independent artists profit from their older songs.
  • Founded by former TIDAL COO Lior Tibon and Apple Music executive Christopher Nolte, Duetti purchases rights to well-performing older songs and maximizes profits through playlist inclusion and influencer partnerships.
  • By focusing on artists with at least 500,000 streams within the past 12 months, Duetti aims to empower independent artists often overlooked in the trend of legacy musicians selling their entire catalogs. AXIOS

Most Expensive Kentucky Derby Memorabilia

  • The Kentucky Derby is one of the oldest sporting events in the United States, and its memorabilia has drawn significant attention in the collectibles market. Some of the most expensive items sold include the 1985 Kentucky Derby Owner's Trophy, a 1973 Secretariat race-worn horseshoe, and Jorge Velasquez's saddle used for Alydar
  • Over the years, the Derby has exhibited famous horses such as Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and American Pharoah, each contributing to the race's rich history and increasing the value of related memorabilia.
  • Controversies and upsets, such as Donerail's 1913 win at 91-1 odds and Dancer's Image's 1968 disqualification, have also played a role in shaping the Derby's legacy and the collectibles market. ALTAN INSIGHTS

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